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The Dreamworld of Kinuko Y. Craft


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Kinuko Y. Craft Biography:

Known as the Goddess of Illustration…

Kinuko Y. Craft is one of the most widely respected and well known artists and illustrators in the World today. Her past commissions have included paintings for book covers of the who’s who of well known fantasy authors, opera posters, fairy tale books as well as covers for almost every major national magazine.

During her storied career she has become known for meticulous attention to detail, a passionate love of fine art and a deep knowledge of art history.

A Storyteller…

Kinuko Y. Craft considers herself a story teller. Her fairy tale books are currently distributed throughout the United States , Europe, Greece , Russia, China and Korea . Her art is also widely licensed on calendars, posters, greeting cards and other consumer goods. Her work has been widely exhibited and is now in private collections throughout the United States, Europe and the Far East.  It can also be found in public collections at The National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian in Washington DC , The Cornish Colony Museum in Windsor , VT , The Museum of American Illustration in New York City , The National Geographic Society and dozens of corporate collections.

A compelling background…

Ms. Craft is a graduate, BFA 1962, of The Kanazawa Municipal College of Fine and Industrial Art (known in Japan as The Kanazawa Bidai). She was born in Japan and came to the United States in the early sixties where she studied design and illustration at the Art Institute of Chicago. Subsequently, she worked for a number of years in well known Chicago art studios. By the end of the decade her work was in wide demand and she began her long and successful career as a free-lance illustrator. For most of this time she worked in editorial and advertising markets where her work regularly appeared in national magazines and newspapers. Since the mid 1990’s, she has concentrated on fantasy book jackets, poster designs and children's picture books.

Awards are numerous…

Kinuko Craft's work has been recognized repeatedly by professional art and design publications, competitions and shows, garnering numerous awards over the years. Kinuko Craft’s artwork has won well over a hundred awards to date. She has been elected to the Hall of Fame of the Society of Illustrators, she has received many Gold and Silver Medals from the Society of Illustrators, The Grand Master Award from the Society of Illustrators and various accolades dating back to the 1990’s. Exhibitions, Guest Lectures and Workshops…. Ms. Craft has had exhibitions too numerous to list along with guest lectures and workshops at The Art Center College of Design,  The Academy of Art College in San Francisco, the Washington DC Society of Illustrators, The Art institute of Boston, Syracuse University, The Rhode Island School of Design, The School of Visual Arts in New York among many others.

International publication covers and famous authors…

Her work has graced the covers and throughout  the pages of the most important publications in the world including: Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, Forbes, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, US News and World Report, Playboy and cover art for some of the most famous authors today. Kinuko Craft a Renaissance Woman . . . Kinuko Craft is a Renaissance woman. By this I mean not that she paints like the Renaissance painters, but that she is an artist for all seasons, for all kinds of subjects, and in all kinds of styles. If you will survey her works, you will find little duplication in form, color or texture. She fits herself to her subject with charming ease and yet leaves herself free to remain herself. There is an air about all of her illustrations of one who is a true connoisseur of art, wide-ranging through all the countries of the world. One cannot help but think how delightful it would be to walk into gallery of her kaleidoscopic talents.” Ray Bradbury

She drives to continue to follow her artistic dreams…. 

“With her broad range of work and international acclaim, there is no further explanation required about Kinuko Y. Craft as an artist. In spite of the many awards and honors bestowed upon her, we must respect most of all, her steadfast attitude and the desire which drives her to continue to follow her artistic dreams.” - So states Shinichi Doi, Curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Full Biography

"Kinuko Craft is a Renaissance woman. By this I mean not that she paints like the Renaissance painters, but that she is an artist for all seasons, for all kinds of subjects, and in all kinds of styles. If you will survey her works, you will find little duplication in form, color or texture. She fits herself to her subject with charming ease and yet leaves herself free to remain herself. There is an air about all of her illustrations of one who is a true connoisseur of art, wide-ranging through all the countries of the world. One cannot help but think how delightful it would be to walk into gallery of her kaleidoscopic talents." Ray Bradbury

 

 "With her broad range of work and international acclaim, there is no further explanation required about Kinuko Y. Craft as an artist. In spite of the many awards and honors bestowed upon her, we must respect most of all, her steadfast attitude and the desire which drives her to continue to follow her artistic dreams.” - So states Shinichi Doi, Curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Kinuko Y. Craft is one of the most widely respected and well known Imaginary Realist artists in the United States today. Her past commissions have included paintings for the book covers of many well known fantasy authors, opera posters, fairy tale books and covers for many national magazines. During her career she has become known for meticulous attention to detail, a passionate love of fine art and an extensive knowledge of art history. Kinuko Y. Craft considers herself a story teller.

Her art has been widely exhibited and is now in private collections in New York City, Atlanta GA, Santa Barbara CA, Dallas TX, Connecticut, San Francisco, New Hampshire, Italy, Japan and Greece and is widely licensed on calendars, posters, greeting cards and other consumer goods. It can also be found public collections at The National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian, The Cornish Colony Museum in Windsor, VT, The Museum of American Illustration in New York City, The National Geographic Society and other corporate collections. Her illustrated books for children on Greek myth and classic fairy tales are in current distribution in the USA, other English language countries, Europe, Greece, Russia, China and Korea.

Ms. Craft is a graduate, BFA 1962, of The Kanazawa Municipal College of Fine and Industrial Art (known in Japan as The Kanazawa Bidai). She was born in Japan and came to the United States in the early sixties where she continued studies in design and illustration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for a year and a half. Subsequently, she worked for several years in well known Chicago art studios. By the end of the decade her work was in wide demand and she had begun her long and successful career as a free-lance illustrator. For most of this time she worked in editorial and advertising markets where her work regularly appeared in national magazines and newspapers. Since the mid 1990's, she has concentrated on art for the covers of fantasy books and the works of William Shakespeare, poster designs and illustrated story books and private commissions.

Kinuko Y. Crafts work has been repeatedly recognized by museums, professional organizations, art and design publications, competitions and art shows, garnering close to 200 awards over the years

Articles:

  • Communication Arts Magazine October 1981
  • Featured artist in Step-By-Step Graphics Magazine
  • Idea Magazine (Japan) Seibundo Shinkosha 1989
  • Illustration Magazine (Japan) Genkosha, #42/October 1989
  • A major article in Realms of Fantasy Magazine, 1999
  • Artist Interviews 2003
  • Locus Magazine, August 2002  

Collections:

  • The Cornish Colony Museum, Windsor, VT
  • The National Geographic Society
  • The Museum of Illustration, New York City
  • The National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian, Washington, DC
  • Private collections in the USA, Europe, Greece and Japan. 

Medals and Awards:

  • Hall of Fame: Society of Illustrators 2009
  • 2008 Gold Medal: Society of Illustrators 29th annual exhibition
  • Silver Medal: Society of Illustrators 33rd annual exhibition
  • Gold Medal: Society of Illustrators 35th annual exhibition
  • Gold Medal: Society of Illustrators 38th annual exhibition
  • Silver Medal: Society of Illustrators 39th annual exhibition
  • Silver Medal: Society of Illustrators 41st annual exhibition
  • Gold Medal: Society of Illustrators 42nd annual exhibition
  • Hamilton King Award: Society of Illustrators, NY in 1987
  • Conflux3 fantasy 2006 in the International Art Show at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra: Best International Art
  • Spectrum 10 Silver Award: Books 2003.
  • Spectrum 9 Grand Master Award 2002
  • Spectrum 8 Gold Award 2001
  • Spectrum 7 Gold Award 2000.
  • Renaissance 2001 show, The Franklin Mint Museum. Best in show
  • The ASFA Chesley Awards (American Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists)
  • Best Product Illustration 2002; Best Interior Illustration; 2001
  • Best Product Illustration 2000; Best Hardback Cover Award; 1998
  • Silver Medal in the 1995 Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles show.

Exhibitions:

  • Enchantment. The Distinguished Artists Symposium and Exhibition. Joseloff Gallery at the Hartford School of Art, Hartford, CT Sept. 9, 2009 - Jan. 7, 2010  
  • DAYDREAMS. Solo exhibit. The 4th Wall Dallas, TX Sept. 4, November 4, 2009

  • The Power of Place. Group exhibit The Cornish Colony Museum Windsor, VT May 24 - October 26, 2008  
  • Turning the Page. Group Exhibit December 2, 2008- February 21, 2009 Metropolitan Center for the Visual Arts Rockville, MD 20850  
  • Dreamscape Exhibitions 2008 International exhibition featuring 50 artists, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 29 November - 7 December 2008
  • Fairy Tale Art. Illustrations from Children Books. Travelling group show organized by Smith Kramer. Current.
  • The Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, CT February 7 ~ April 4, 2008.
  • The Cornish Colony Museum, Solo exhibit Windsor, VT December 1st 2006 to March 31st 2007.
  • Venus and the Female Tradition. A group exhibit of Imaginary Realist art in Saeby, Denmark April 28 May 28, 2007
  • A Spring Nights Dream. Solo exhibit at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan, spring 2006.
  • The Art of Der Spiegel, 2005 a traveling exhibit
  • “The Spectrum Show.” The Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, NY, NY Sept. 7 to Oct. 1st, 2005
  • “Defining Realities,” a group show at the Chalk Farm Gallery, Santa Fe, NM , opening August 26, 2005
  • The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists “Science Fiction, Fantasy Exhibition” at Echo Gallery, Chicago, IL, July 2nd - September 30, 2005
  • The Art of the New York Times, The Society of Illustrators, New York City, December 2004
  • Women in Illustration: Contemporary Visions and Voices, The Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA, March 6, 2004 through May 31, 2004
  • Illustrating the Sea. Group show at The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic CT, several paintings on a nautical theme. March 13-April 25, 2004.
  • The Society of Illustrators, 46th Annual Exhibition, New York City, NY
  • “Storytellers,” a group show at the Reynolds Gallery, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA. Nov. 03, 2003 ~ January 17, 2004.
  • The Fantasies of Kinuko Y. Craft,” Norfolk Library, Norfolk, CT Dec. 2002~Jan 2003
  • “The Realm of Enchantment" The Franklin Mint Museum, US Rt. 1, Franklin Center, PA. January 16 through March 4, 2000. Over fifty paintings.
  • “Illustrating Women” Ringling School of Art & Design, Sarasota, Florida 2000.
  • “Masters of the Art of Children Books” University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire 2000.
  • “Other Realms” exhibit at The Discovery Museum, Bridgeport CT.
  • “The Fine Art of Illustration” 1995, Hunterdon Art Center, Hunterdon, NJ.
  • “Women Illustrators in New England”, Radcliffe College, Cambridge MA.
  • “Brave Little Girls” The National Museum of Women in the Arts - an exhibition that traveled widely in the United States for several years.
  • “The Art of Enchantment,” The Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA also a traveling exhibition
  • Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco - “Visions of the Floating World,” 1992.
  • The Art Directors Club of New York - “New York 5” (Also a traveling exhibit in Japan) – 1988
  • Musee de la Civilization, Quebec, Canada.
  • Solo exhibit at the Society of Illustrators, NY in 1983.  

Illustrated books:

 

  • "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," Morrow Junior Books, 1989
  • "Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave," 1994 Morrow Junior Books
  • "Cupid & Psyche," 1996 Morrow Junior Books
  • "Pegasus," 1998 Morrow Junior Books
  • "King Midas and the Golden Touch," 1999 Morrow Junior Books
  • "Cinderella," 2000 Sea Star Books
  • "Tom Thumb," Sea Star Books 2001
  • “Sleeping Beauty” SeaStar Books 2002.
  • "Mother Goose ABC," 1977 Platt & Munk
  • "Bear, Wolf and Mouse," 1975 Follett Publishing
  • "What Is It," Follett Publishing
  • "Gingerbread Children," 1973 Follett Publishing
  • "Come Play With Me," 1975 Follett Publishing
  • "Cookie House," Follett Publishing 1978
  • "Treasure Island," 1980 Rain Tree Publishers
  • "Classics," 1977 Platt & Munk
  • "Rumplestiltskin," Scott Foresman & Co.  

Lectures and Workshops:

 

  • The Washington DC Society of Illustrators  
  • Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA
  • The Ringling School of Art & Design, Sarasota Florida
  • The Stamford Design Conference, Palo Alto, CA
  • Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
  • San Jose State University, San Jose, CA  
  • Academy of Art College San Francisco
  • San Francisco Society of Illustrators
  • Community College of Arts and Crafts San Francisco, CA
  • School of Visual Arts in New York City
  • The Art Institute of Boston-1998 DuPont Visiting Artist Series
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, where she has taught two summer workshop classes
  • Travel/lecture with “New York 5” in Japan during 1989, including a traveling exhibit.
  • The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
  • California College of the Arts 2010  

Juried Exhibitions where Ms. Craft has participated as a judge.

 

  • The Washington DC Society of Illustrators
  • The Cleveland Art Directors Club
  • The Dallas Society of Illustrators
  • The Society of Illustrators of New York, various exhibitions
  • The Hamilton King Awards (Society of Illustrators, NY)
  • The Los Angeles Society of Illustrators
  • The San Francisco Society of Illustrators. 
  • 1998 Communication Arts Magazine Illustration Annual.

 

Organizations:

  • The Illustrators Partnership of America, founding member  
  • Society of Illustrators, New York City, NY. Member since the mid 1970's
     

Clients:

  • Time and Newsweek Magazines
  • National Geographic
  • Forbes Magazine
  • Sports Illustrated
  • The New York Times
  • AT&T
  • Atlantic Monthly
  • US News and World Report
  • Playboy Magazine
  • Cover art for major book publishers in the USA, England, Europe, Japan and Australia
  • The Washington Opera, Washington, DC  
  • Major American Advertising Agencies
  • The Dallas Opera

Comments on the work of Ms. Craft by major organizations and the press

  • “A...major figure in contemporary American illustration.” Syracuse University  
  • “K.Y. Craft's illustrations are wonderful fun.” Gahan Wilson, for the N.Y. Times Book Review.
  • "...one of today's most profound Renaissance painters.” CMYK Magazine.
  • “Her attention to detail is unflagging.” Publishers weekly.
  • “Craft's oil on watercolor paintings are splendid,"… "exquisitely rendered.” Kirkus reviews.
  • “...lush illustrations...are sure to enthrall...” New Yorker Magazine.
  • "A consummate artist" School Library Journal.
  •  “Craft's illustrations are almost unbearably sumptuous" INFONDA.COM  

Book Jacket Paintings for Literary, Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors:

William Shakesphere

Sigrid Undset

James Redfield

Diana Galbadon

Gay Courter

Alison Weir

Isabel Allende

Dorothy Dunnet

Carl Sagan

Eileen Goudge

Gita Mehta

Antonia Fraser

Barbara Wood

Barry Lopez

Isaac Asimov

Stephen King

Orson Scott Card

C. S. Lewis

Glenn Cook

Sherri S. Tepper

Ursula LeGuin

Guy Gavriel Kay

Robin McKinley

Brian Aldiss

Pat O'Shea

Marion Zimmer Bradley

Patricia A. McKillip

Juliet Marillier

Isabelle Glass

Katherine Kurtz

Sile Rice

Tanith Lee

Andre Norton

Raymond E. Feist

Stuart Hill

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